Monday, May 17, 2010

My Five Cents: Fox 2010 Fall Dramas...

Fox announced their new fall shows today, and fortunate reporters got to screen clips and some shows in full during the network's Upfronts ceremonies held in New York City. Though I have not returned to the wormy, mealy Big Apple to attend such an event, I was still granted the opportunity to take a look at what's to come in order to offer you my five cents. But if you don't want to just take my word for it, take a look below (unfortunately no clips were available for embedding just yet) and judge for yourselves.

Lonestar is a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil. Bob Allen (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies. As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to Cat (Adrianne Palicki), the beautiful daughter of Jon Voight's Clint, the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, na├»ve girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford), where he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat. Key word for this show is "soap;" if you're willing to give a little for the camp and melodrama and absurdity, you will walk away with an hour of entertainment here. At times it tries to be a bit too serious for such a premise, but take note: this is no Big Love!

Terra Nova is an epic family drama from executive producers Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga and David Fury. Set eight-five million years in the making this mid-season replacement follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. It's a grand series full of beautiful imagery but behind it all is still the darkness of man, as the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may prove a detriment to their new, assumed utopia. Guaranteed people will be tuning in for the bigger than life moments, such as the outside prehistoric threats that begin to pop up amidst this supposed idyllic community. But what moments ring most true are the ones when it is the people who are left that are the threats amongst each other. After all, in what picture-perfect world are things really what they seem?

The final drama from Fox is another mid-season one, Ride-Along. The premise of this show is a "slice of life" for a Chicago cop, as a civilian spends a shift in the passenger seat of a squad car, observing the work day of a police officer. But the gimmick is that the audience is the civilian-- the passenger. The show stars Jason Clarke, Matt Lauria, and Jennifer Beals as the cops with very different yet stereotypical personalities. There is the reckless tough guy who underneath it all is really just a charming guy afraid to get too close (Clarke); there is the new guy desperate to prove himself (Lauria); and of course there is woman desperate to implement changes and prove she can play with the boys in a world that still tries to tell her otherwise (Beals). These three, with others at their side, are determined to bring the dirty guys down and clean up Chicago. The question the show seems to pose is whether or not cleaning up Chicago-- a metaphor for any big series, one could infer, is even possible. In truth, though the real question this cop drama begs is why it's relevant or necessary at all compared with the dozens that have come before it.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave 'em below!!

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